It’s been an incredibly warm fall. Record highs far outnumbered record lows in October. Now some locations, still far from dropping to temperatures below 32 degrees, are coming up against their latest first freeze on record.

The date of the first freeze is significant. Although some plants don’t adhere to the “rule,” the growing season for a given location is considered the number of days between the last freeze of the spring and the first freeze in the fall. It’s also one of the best ways to measure how our local climate is changing.

Overnight low temperatures are getting steadily higher. In the Lower 48, the average low temperature during the month of October was 46.2 degrees — 4.8 degrees above average. Not only is that the second-highest on record, no state in the Lower 48 had below-average overnight lows last month. They weren’t even close to average, according to NOAA.

Another crazy statistic: The National Weather Service reported over 7,000 warm records in the month of October. There were just 508 cold records. This is a trend that scientists expect as the atmosphere warms because of fossil fuel emissions.

Of course, the warm trend is reflected in the dates of the earliest freeze, or the end of the growing season. Only in parts of the Rocky Mountains and New England have temperatures dropped below 32 degrees. The rest of the Lower 48 is waiting for autumn to arrive. The Weather Channel compiled a list of large cities that have yet to see their first freeze or are close to records.

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On Tuesday, Minneapolis passed its latest first freeze on record. The old record was Nov. 7, 1900. The Weather Channel notes the city “has only seen their first freeze in November seven times since 1873; the last this occurred was in 1958.”

La Crosse, Wis., also set a record for a late freeze, and the warmth is likely to continue through at least the weekend. Peoria, Ill., was expected to break its record on Wednesday night. Temperatures there might slip to 32 degrees on Friday, though it’s not a sure thing.

Not only will Grand Rapids, Mich., probably break its record, but it’s already set a record for the longest growing season. As of Wednesday, the streak above freezing was 210 days, the Weather Channel reports. The previous record was 198 days set in 2000.

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More major Midwest cities are also in the running for latest freeze, including Detroit, Des Moines and Madison, Wis. In Chicago and Cleveland, the latest freeze on record isn’t until the last week of November, but temperatures in both of these cities look unlikely to get much colder before then. Major cities on the East Coast don’t have late-freeze records until December, by which time a cool pattern might settle in.

At this point, though, a cool-down seems like a long shot. All of our meteorological crystal balls tell us things are going to stay warm for a while — through Thanksgiving, at the least.

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